One full year spent in Turkey.
I go from being totally overwhelmed and excited to being completely antisocial and alienated. Last night having a conversation with a fellow expat in Bursa I got to thinking that not having any expectations is the best way to start building your experience in a new culture and new society.
Let’s think of it like building a house with little LEGO bricks. But let’s say that the box with the bricks does not indicate whether they are colourful or black, square or rectangular, moreover it doesn’t say how many pieces are inside, what age is appropriate for using it and it doesn’t give you even a little glimpse or idea of what you can build from it. Yes, you go online and you search for blogs with instructions, you read through thousands of DIYs, you register on websites that say “the easiest way to build stuff from LEGO bricks”.. but you still don’t know what can you build from it.
Some days I feel that I don’t belong here. And then I remind myself that I don’t belong anywhere anymore.
Funny thing about being an expat, running away from a well-ordered life at home to face new adventure, new cultures, new difficulties. For people like us there’s never enough of the world. Continue reading
The summer is approaching and on my blog stats I’ve noticed how my posts on 7-minutes-workout and bodyweight exercises that helped me lost weight and get in a better shape are simply booming :)
So I think it will be a good time to remind those who are looking for a new diet, intensive workouts at home or simply just a motivation – everything is possible if you believe in yourself! 10-15 minutes of intense bodyweight workout at home even without any equipment, big changes in your meals and a positive mindset are all you need to START changing. Here are some short advice I can give you:
- Be consistent in your choices and exercises to see results
- Don’t create excuses, look for strength inside of you to exercise
- Don’t give up if you’ve a had a little set back – every day is a new opportunity to start changing
- Read the description – check if that one “healthy” granola bar has more sugar than you should consume per week
- It doesn’t matter how long are your trainings, as long as they are regular and intense
- When your muscles burn – that’s when it’s working
- Eat clean, drink lots of water and exercise
- Don’t create restrictions, don’t starve yourself, treat yourself to some of your favourite sweets sometimes, but make sure that’s a treat, not a daily habit
- Don’t blame people or circumstances – you are responsible for your body and choices
- Little exercise is much better than no exercise at all. Remember that and feel proud of yourself even after 15 min of intense training
- Don’t drink sweet cocktails and liquors, drink a glass of dry wine instead
- Every food or drink that is too sweet, bubbly and has an artificial color has a lot of chemicals in it
- Eat regularly and eat breakfast to boost your metabolism
- Eat more meat and vegetables and less carbs
Please check the Fitness motivation section for some more posts.
There are things that you can only understand with a certain experience and age. One of those is letting go of toxic friendships and relationships. Letting go and clearing space for more positive and understanding people to come into your life. For friends who don’t limit each other and don’t judge everything uniquely from his/her point of view.
And while there are many signs and character traits that you should try to avoid, I want to share the one that’s the most unbearable for me. Complaining. I find that complaining is the worst form of negativity there is.
No matter how much I love Turkey, it is a fact that a lot of tourists get ripped off on various occasions and amounts can vary from 20$ to hundreds of dollars. Last week I had a chance to experience this myself and also to crash test my knowledge of Turkish language. And it was more or less successful :)
A friend of mine was visiting last week, so we spent a couple of days together in the touristic areas of Istanbul, where the most rip-offs usually happen (thought, probably leather and gold stores in Antalya area in summer can easily beat Istanbul in this “competition”). Beforehand I was prepped to remember the simplest rule – 20 TL (turkish lira) for a local is 20$ for a tourist. And I am sure that a nice transparent umbrella we bought on Istiklal caddesi, caught in an expected rainfall, for just 5 TL, would have a different price had I asked the man in English instead of Turkish.
So I lost some weight and got in shape. Great, isn’t it? Yes, except for these little annoying facts. If you can relate, drop me a comment :)
“Please, eat something”.
People have been telling me to eat more or trying to feed me with junk food for 5 months now. My explanations that I eat more or less healthy, that I eat whatever I want from time to time, that I eat a lot of proteins and have a good breakfast every day simply don’t work. My other explanation that good metabolism requires a lot of food, on a contrary from what people think, and that I’d rather have three meals during the day than having 3 plates of food for dinner and that I choose not to feel like a stuffed turkey don’t work too. One of my friend pointed out – the fact that I lost 10 kilo with just a little sport but mostly due to a big change in my eating habits make people uncomfortable! Because everybody knows – losing weight is difficult, so why should my example make them feel guilty for their laziness and lack of drive. I just need to eat more, go back to my old self and so the balance could be restored.
Whether we want to acknowledge or not, we are in charge of our thoughts that become things and shape our own Universe. I particularly adore the quote from “Eat. Pray. Love” where Richard tells Liz how to select her thoughts. I embrace this whole philosophy and try to follow it with all my heart.
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat. Pray. Love”
I believe our personal happiness is a result of everyday efforts we put into it, it’s a hard and challenging work and it’s so worth it, because if not for the reason of striving to be happy, why else are we here?